The 6 Best Colanders – Review And Buying Guide

It doesn’t matter how much you cook – investing in the best colander is absolutely essential. 

Unfortunately, it’s a kitchen tool that’s often overlooked. Everybody tends to remember to outfit their first kitchen with things like spatulas, frying pans, and knives – but nobody remembers to include the humble colander! 

From draining pasta to steaming vegetables, having the right colander can make your cooking tasks a lot easier. Not any old colander will do, however. Believe it or not, all colanders are not built alike and there are tons of options for you to consider. 

Here are some of the best colanders you can buy – and some tips on how to choose the right one for your needs.

The 6 Best Colanders to Help You Drain, Steam, and Rinse Like a Professional Chef

1. OXO Good Grips Colander

Read any online review covering the best colander options on the market, and you’ll likely find this stainless steel colander by OXO at the top of every list. It’s a durable, affordable option that is equipped with all the features you need for success in the kitchen.

Although it’s made out of stainless steel, making it durable and long-lasting, it has soft, non-slip handles that will help you keep the colander in your hands without burning yourself. 

It’s available in both three- and five-quart sizes and can nest inside most mixing bowls. It doesn’t take up a ton of space in your cabinet and is more or less self-supporting so you can rest it atop your bowl to strain before walking away to do another task. 

It has five small feet, too, so you can leave it on the countertop and it will remain upright. Unlike many stainless steel colanders you might find, this one also has smaller holes that are more convenient for draining small items like beans and grains. 

And one more benefit? It’s also dishwasher-safe, so clean-up is a cinch. 

What We Liked:

  • Has five feet for stability 
  • Nesting design makes it easy to use
  • Made out of durable stainless steel 

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Food can sometimes get stuck on the plastic rim

2. HÖLM 3-Piece Stainless Steel Mesh Micro-Perforated Strainer Colander Set

Can’t decide what size colander you need? Why not just buy them all?

For some people, that option can be cost-prohibitive. But if you want to have all kinds of colanders for all kinds of cooking needs, you might want to consider this three-piece set by HÖLM. 

Each piece is made out of durable stainless steel. You’ll get three mesh colanders that can be used for everything from washing large vegetables to draining tiny pieces of rice. 

The sturdy mesh resists warping and stretching so you don’t have to worry about these colanders flexing under the weight of heavy foods. The set of three makes it easy for you to use each colander individually or all at once, depending on how much cooking you need to do.

What We Liked:

  • Set of three gives you the right size colander for any task
  • Dishwasher-safe design
  • Made out of durable, rust-resistant stainless steel 

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Each piece has longer handles, which can make nesting difficult

3. Comfify Over The Sink Colander with Handles

This collapsible over-the-sink colander by Comfify is one of the best colanders for you to consider if you live in close quarters – like an apartment. This colander is so convenient you could even use it in an RV or motorhome. 

When fully collapsed, it is only 17” – but stretch it back out, and it will expand to a whopping 26” – enough to fit most sinks. It lays down flat so you can slide it in a drawer when you are done using it. 

Not only that, but this collapsible colander has non-slip handles for added stability and comfort. It is made out of plastic, but it’s BPA-free so you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals contaminating your food. It is designed with bright, attractive colors so you won’t have to worry about it getting lost in a move, either. 

What We Liked:

  • Collapsible design for easy storage
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Has expandable handles 

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Plastic wears out over time, especially with heavy use

4. Bellemain Stainless Steel Colander

You’ll notice that we’ve included several stainless steel colander options on our list of the best products. That’s because stainless steel is, without a doubt, one of the best materials you can consider if you are looking for a rugged, long-lasting colander. 

This one by Bellemain is no exception. It has a micro-perforated design that offers the perfect compromise between the too-large holes of most stainless steel colanders and the too-small holes of mesh food strainers that tend to get clogged with food all the time. 

The Bellemain colander is one of the best for rice and other small foods. It will keep small foods in, while also allowing you to drain liquids very quickly. It is dishwasher safe, too, making clean-up quick and easy.

What We Liked:

  • Stainless steel resists rust and other kinds of wear and tear
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Smaller holes can be used with any type of food yet are still easy to clean 

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Riveted handles aren’t as strong as what you might find on some other models

5. All-Clad 5605C Stainless Steel Dishwasher Safe Colander

All-Clad makes several types of colanders, but this stainless steel, dishwasher-safe colander is without a doubt one of the best. 

It is made out of high-quality 18/10 top stainless steel. It has a polished exterior so you’ll enjoy a lustrous shine even after multiple uses. The inside of the colander, however, is equipped with brushed stainless steel to prevent food from sloshing around too much inside the dish. You can use it for steaming or for rinsing – whatever your heart desires. 

It has large handles that are riveted in place to prevent your hands from sliding around. Like some of the other colanders we have reviewed, it also has a pedestal base, meaning it remains stable while it is draining. 

What We Liked:

  • Dishwasher-safe and easy to clean
  • Has graduated holes to allow for quick draining
  • Can be used for all kitchen tasks, including steaming

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Holes are somewhat large, so handling small foods like rice might be a challenge

6. KUKPO EASY GRIP Stainless Steel Colander

The Kukpo Easy Grip Colander is yet another stainless steel colander that you’re sure to love. It is equipped with non-slip rubber handles so you won’t have to worry about burning yourself while you’re hard at work in the kitchen.

It has a nested design that allows you to rest it inside mixing bowls for storage or quick rinsing. It has an impressive five-quart capacity, which is pretty large when compared to other colanders, too. The handles prevent heat from radiating through from your hands. 

The Kukpo Colander has larger holes that will help you strain a lot of liquid quickly. It’s easy to clean, too, as food particles are less likely to get stuck in the mesh. It’s dishwasher safe, too. All you have to do is rinse it off and slide it on the rack of your dishwasher  – clean-up is taken care of.

What We Liked:

  • Prevents rust with its stainless steel design
  • Has large holes that are easy to clean
  • Comes with rubber handles to prevent burns and slips

What We Didn’t Like: 

  • Not the best colander to use with fine materials, like rice

How to Find the Right Colander: A Quick Buying Guide 

Material

Without a doubt, the material of your colander is going to be the most important consideration you make. Depending on what you use your colander for, one material might be better than the alternatives. If you cook quite a bit, it might behoove you to have several types of colanders on hand.

Stainless steel will be the most durable and heavy-duty kind of colander. It’s versatile, too, allowing you to handle most common cooking tasks like steaming vegetables and draining dense foods, like pasta. The only disadvantage of stainless steel colanders is that they are usually equipped with larger holes, which can make working with fine-grained materials, like rice, a hassle. 

Stainless steel mesh is the better alternative in this case. This material isn’t quite as strong as solid stainless steel and can actually flex under heavy loads. However, you can find these with a range of hole sizes so you may have an easier job of straining small items. 

Another option is silicone. When you’re considering collapsible colanders, they are almost always made out of silicone. These are great for apartment-dwellers or other people who have limited space. They usually have large holes and can also double as steamer baskets or tools for blanching. 

Plastic is another material. If you invest in a plastic colander, just make sure it’s BPA-free plastic so you don’t expose yourself to nasty c chemicals. Plastic tends to be the least durable option, but it’s also the least expensive. 

And for people who truly care about the way their kitchen looks, you could consider a porcelain-over-steel colander. These are incredibly attractive and lend a gorgeous, antique vibe to the kitchen. However, the enamel can crack after several uses, which may cause the colander to rust and be rendered unusable – so keep that in mind. 

Handles

Most colanders are equipped with some kind of handles, but you’ll want to find the colander that has the right handles for your needs. Look for one with ergonomically-designed handles. Those that are longer and sturdier will help you drain heavy loads of pasta, vegetables, or other foods without causing the colander to flex.

Similarly, some are equipped with rubber coatings so you don’t have to worry about heat transferring from the colander to your hands-  and causing you to burn yourself as a result. 

While most colanders are equipped with two matching handles, one on either side of the container, there are some colanders that have a single long handle, too, which can be helpful when you are dealing with super-hot foods.

Feet Size and Structure

If you like being able to set your colander on the counter, investing in one with a sturdy pair of feet is essential. Otherwise, your colander will tip over, spilling the freshly washed or rinsed foods all over your countertop.

Feet are beneficial for one other reason – they can keep your colander from having to come into contact with your sink. While that might not be a major issue if you always maintain a sparkling clean sink, that tends to not be the case for most people. Prevent your clean food from touching your dirty sink by investing in a colander with strong feet.

Collapsible

Some colanders collapse, which is a handy feature to consider if you live in a compact apartment. These can often be nested inside mixing bowls, which makes straining and draining easier, too. 

Mesh and Hole Size

Carefully consider which types of foods you will be straining in your colander. If you are rinsing or draining small-grained foods, like rice, orzo, or quinoa, you’re going to have a problem on your hands if you try to use a large-holed colander. Food will fall right through. You will need to use a finer mesh. 

However, a finer-mesh colander isn’t without its problems, either. These can be more difficult to clean, as food particles tend to get stuck in the mesh. 

Which Colander is Best For Me?

At the end of the day, there is no single best colander for everyone. Just as every cook likes to bring a different flavor and twist of personality to his dishes, every colander will suit a different type of chef and cooking style. 

To find the ideal match, think carefully about what kinds of kitchen tasks you do on a regular basis, and which ones require a colander. Consider all of the deciding factors mentioned above to help you find the best colander – and hurry! You’ve got some serious cooking to do.